Use of ‘nano’ prefix is no small matter


The overuse and misuse of the prefix ‘nano’ — to indicate dimension on the nanometre scale — is making a deceptive terminology that threatens to undermine nanoscience. I urge scientists to as a substitute use normal nomenclature and classification methods for precision and readability of their communications.

Competing Pursuits

The writer declares no competing pursuits.

Climate crisis: Will small California farms survive soaring heat? | Climate Crisis News


Los Angeles, California, US – Final summer season was the most popular that Kayode Kadara can bear in mind because the late Nineteen Seventies, when he started visiting the San Joaquin Valley, the huge farming area between the Sierra Nevadas and the California coast.

The co-owner of TAC Farm, a small farm in Allensworth, mentioned temperatures soared to not less than 40 levels Celsius for a number of days. He might work outdoors just for a short while earlier than dashing again into his air-conditioned home.

The San Joaquin Valley – essentially the most worthwhile agricultural area in the US, with eight million acres of farmland and 200,000 employees who present meals to individuals within the US, Europe, Canada, China and different nations – faces a potential rise in annual common most temperatures of two.7 levels Celsius by mid-century, and as much as 4.4 levels Celsius by the top of the century, in keeping with a brand new state-commissioned local weather report launched in January.

From 1950 to 2020, the valley’s temperature has elevated by 0.6 levels Celsius, the report famous. It discovered the local weather disaster has already created water shortage and over-reliance on groundwater, hitting small-scale farmers particularly arduous, together with many Hmong, Latinx and African American farmers.

Droughts and earlier snowmelt runoff will improve water shortage in the course of the summer season, particularly in areas with irrigated agriculture, resulting in financial losses and elevated stress on groundwater, a brand new report (PDF) launched on Monday from the Worldwide Panel on Local weather Change additionally predicted.

Kadara runs TAC Farm together with his enterprise companion and brother-in-law Dennis Hutson. The 2 dreamed of making a sustainable farm as an financial engine in Allensworth, a once-thriving African American neighborhood based in 1908 by an escaped slave and military colonel. By means of regenerative practices, they reworked a depleted piece of sandy land right into a nutrient-rich plot that produces wheat, oats, kale, alfalfa, watermelons and cantaloupes.

Dry fieldTAC Farm use regenerative farming practices so as to add vitamins to the soil [Courtesy of Kayode Kadara and Dennis Hutson]

However the farm’s lifeblood is a 720-foot nicely that pumps water to the crops, and so they should compete for water towards close by agricultural giants with the sources to drill down a lot deeper. 9 years in the past, their nicely ran dry. In close by Porterville, a whole lot of wells have dried up in recent times.

“The research to me are true. The forecast is principally what we’re seeing proper now,” Kadara informed Al Jazeera. “Because it will get hotter, I don’t know what the heck we’ll do.”

Longer dry seasons

Hutson and Kadara are an odd pair: Hutson is an optimistic minister who preaches at two close by church buildings, whereas Kadara is a pragmatist targeted on innovation and science. In Allensworth, a low-income neighborhood of principally farmworkers, Hutson envisioned the farm as a strategy to generate income so the county would “now not view us as a neighborhood all the time with its hand out”. The farm is giving individuals “a way of satisfaction of their neighborhood”, he informed Al Jazeera.

Kadara is happy with the farm’s sustainable practises; the wind used to blow chemical-filled mud from close by farms onto the land, however they planted bushes and shrubs as windbreaks. They use compost, resist tilling and develop cowl crops to enhance soil well being, and so they plan to put in owl packing containers to ask the pure predators to feast on gophers that chew on the water strains.

One of many primary sources of water for the San Joaquin Valley is the snowpack within the Sierra Nevadas, which melts in spring and fills reservoirs. However because the area heats up, the quantity of snow is reducing, and it’s melting earlier within the yr. The wet season is projected to develop shorter, with longer dry seasons in the summertime, that means floor water might be much less out there to farmers once they want it, forcing them to more and more depend on groundwater.

Hutson and Kadara have water on their farm – for now. However they might need to drill deeper in future, at a price of a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} they don’t have.

“We will speak about all of the methods to handle local weather change – cease utilizing fossil fuels, swap to electrical energy and stuff like that – however what’s going to it do now that the impacts are right here?” Kadara mentioned. “That’s the priority and the scary half for me. It’s right here.”

Bottle with black waterIn some communities within the San Joaquin Valley, the faucet water runs black because of excessive ranges of manganese [Courtesy of Jose Pablo Ortiz-Partida]

Susceptible communities

In keeping with the local weather report, greater than 4.3 million individuals stay within the San Joaquin Valley, and greater than half are in deprived communities.

The report’s lead authors, Jose Pablo Ortiz-Partida and Angel Santiago Fernandez-Bou, informed Al Jazeera that small-scale farms are most in danger from local weather change as a result of their shallow wells are the primary to dry up when groundwater is depleted. They’ve few sources to adapt and fewer political illustration than massive farms, and language limitations also can make issues tougher for Hmong and Latinx farmers.

More and more, farm employees are affected by warmth stroke, each within the subject and at dwelling, as many can not afford air-con, Ortiz-Partida added.

“Individuals consider local weather change as one thing of the longer term, however we see its results right here in California, however particularly the San Joaquin Valley, daily,” Fernandez-Bou mentioned.

A whole bunch of hundreds of individuals on this area should not have dependable entry to scrub consuming water. As groundwater is depleted by local weather change and over-extraction, the degrees of sediments and pollution within the nicely water improve. Within the metropolis of San Joaquin, in Fresno County, the faucet water has run black because of excessive ranges of manganese. Different communities have harmful quantities of arsenic, pathogens similar to E. coli, and cancer-causing chemical compounds similar to chromium VI.

Local weather change is exacerbating all these points, whereas the dearth of funding in important infrastructure, together with water and sewage methods, make these communities “a number of the most susceptible to local weather change in the US”, the report famous.

Tractor on fieldTAC Farm has obtained small authorities grants to improve its pump and irrigation pipe, and to construct up vitamins within the soil [Courtesy of Kayode Kadara and Dennis Hutson]

Regulating groundwater

In keeping with Fernandez-Bou and Ortiz-Partida, small farmers who use regenerative practises are well-positioned to deal with the local weather disaster as a result of their land can sequester carbon, and improve soil well being and water retention. As well as, small farms are likely to reinvest of their communities, main to higher socioeconomic outcomes on a broader scale. Kadara and Hutson additionally partnered with UC Berkeley to make use of an revolutionary methodology of eradicating arsenic from their nicely water.

“Regenerative agriculture is solely the follow of working in concord with nature versus working towards it,” Hutson defined.

Kadara and Hutson know that valley residents will face stress to maneuver within the coming many years, however they personally don’t have any plans to depart.

TAC Farm has obtained small authorities grants to improve its pump and irrigation pipe, and to construct up vitamins within the soil. The farmers additionally hope a brand new regulation will improve water fairness; California has lengthy regulated floor water, however solely just lately handed the Sustainable Groundwater Administration Act, which requires areas to develop plans to control groundwater alongside set timelines. However the brand new regulation is in its early levels, and a few districts might not have the ability to totally implement sustainability plans by 2040, the report famous.

“As an alternative of complaining, I consider you may seize the alternatives and make good issues occur,” Hutson mentioned.

“You see, it doesn’t take a lot to get me to begin preaching,” he joked. “I select to suppose positively.”

Nikon Small World 2021 Photo Competition winners announced today | NOVA



NatureNature

From neurons to tick heads to louse claws, listed here are the highest 10 pictures from the competitors.

The successful picture of the Nikon Small World 2021 Photograph Competitors exhibits a southern reside oak leaf’s trichomes, stomata, and vessels. Picture Credit score: Jason Kirk, Baylor School of Medication

The winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competitors, which goals to showcase “the sweetness and complexity of life as seen by means of the sunshine microscope,” had been introduced immediately.

That is the forty seventh yr of the picture competitors, which is open to anybody with an curiosity in microscopy—the usage of microscopes to view samples and objects—and pictures. This yr the competition obtained nearly 1,900 entries from 88 international locations. A panel of 5 judges* evaluated the entries for originality, informational content material, technical proficiency, and visible impression, Nikon reported. The outcomes of the sister video competitors, Small World In Movement, had been introduced final month.

Listed below are this yr’s prime 10 pictures:

1. Stay oak leaf

A southern reside oak leaf’s trichomes, stomata, and vessels photographed by Jason Kirk, knowledgeable imager and core director of Baylor School of Medication’s Optical Imaging & Important Microscopy Core. Kirk used a custom-made microscope system to take round 200 particular person pictures of the leaf, which he stacked collectively to create this picture, Nikon stories.

Trichomes, stomata, and vessels are all “important to plants,” Nikon writes. Trichomes, superb outgrowths that shield a plant from excessive climate and bugs, are featured in white. “In purple, Jason highlights the stomata, small pores that regulate the circulate of gases in a plant. Coloured in cyan are the vessels that transport water all through the leaf,” Nikon mentioned in a press release.

2. Networking neurons in microfluidic gadget

Picture Credit score: Esmeralda Paric and Holly Stefen, Dementia Analysis Centre, Macquarie College, New South Wales, Australia

This picture is of a microfluidic gadget, which incorporates 300,000 networking neurons divided into two remoted populations (left and proper) bridged by axons (heart). The remoted populations had been every handled with a novel virus, Nikon stories. The picture was taken at 40X magnification by Esmeralda Paric and Holly Stefen of Macquarie College’s Dementia Analysis Centre in New South Wales, Australia, utilizing fluorescence imaging, which makes use of high-intensity illumination to excite fluorescent molecules in a pattern. “When a molecule absorbs photons, electrons are excited to the next vitality degree,” Nikon writes. “As electrons ‘calm down’ again to the ground-state, vibrational vitality is misplaced and, because of this, the emission spectrum is shifted to longer wavelengths.”

3. Rear leg, claw and respiratory trachea of a louse

Picture Credit score: Frank Reiser, Nassau Neighborhood School, New York

A rear leg, claw, and respiratory trachea of a louse, a wingless parasitic insect, at 5X magnification taken by Frank Reiser, a biologist at Nassau Neighborhood School in New York. Reiser used darkfield micrography, which “creates distinction in clear unstained specimens” and “is determined by controlling specimen illumination in order that central mild which usually passes by means of and across the specimen is blocked,” Nikon writes, and picture stacking to supply this picture.

4. Embryonic rat neuron

Picture Credit score: Paula Diaz, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

A sensory neuron from an embryonic rat taken by Paula Diaz, a physiologist at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. Diaz took the picture at 10X magnification and used fluorescence imaging to supply it.

5. Housefly proboscis

Picture Credit score: Oliver Dum, Medienbunker Produktion, Bendof, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany

A proboscis of a housefly (Musca domestica) taken by Oliver Dum of Medienbunker Produktion in Bendof, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany. Dum took the picture at 40X magnification and assembled it utilizing picture stacking.

6. Mouse mind vasculature

Picture Credit score: Dr. Andrea Tedeschi, Wexner Medical Middle, Ohio State College

3D vasculature of an grownup mouse mind taken by Dr. Andrea Tedeschi of Ohio State College’s Wexner Medical Middle in Columbus, Ohio. Tedeschi took the picture at 10X magnification and used confocal imaging, which includes scanning a specimen to create extraordinarily skinny (right down to 250 nanometer thickness) computer-generated optical sections utilizing seen mild, to create it.

7. Tick head

Picture Credit score: Drs. Tong Zhang and Paul Stoodley, Ohio State College’s Campus Microscopy & Imaging Facility

Head of a tick taken by Drs. Tong Zhang and Paul Stoodley of Ohio State College’s Campus Microscopy & Imaging Facility in Columbus, Ohio. Zhang and Stoodley took the picture at 10X magnification and used confocal imaging to supply it.

8. Mouse gut

Picture Credit score: Dr. Amy Engevik, Medical College of South Carolina

Cross part of a mouse gut taken at 10X magnification utilizing fluorescence imaging by Dr. Amy Engevik of the Medical College of South Carolina’s Division of Regenerative Medication and Cell Biology in Charleston, South Carolina.

9. Water flea

Picture Credit score: Jan van IJken, Jan van IJek Images & Movie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

A water flea (Daphnia) carrying embryos and ciliated vase-shaped protozoans referred to as peritrichs taken at 10X magnification utilizing picture stacking and darkfield microscopy by Jan van IJken of Jan van IJek Images & Movie in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

10. Butterfly wing

Picture Credit score: Sebastien Malo, Saint Lys, Haute-Garonne, France

Vein and scales on a Morpho didius butterfly wing taken at 20X magnification utilizing picture stacking and mirrored mild pictures by Sebastien Malo of Saint Lys, Haute-Garonne, France.

*NOVA Science Editor Robin Kazmier was a decide on this yr’s competitors.

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Alaina Yee is PCWorld’s resident discount hunter—when she’s not protecting PC constructing, laptop elements, mini-PCs, and extra, she’s scouring for the most effective tech offers. Beforehand her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Most PC, and Official Xbox Journal. You will discover her on Twitter at @morphingball.